Mystery Shopping

We provide an independent test purchase service for retailers of age restricted products across the UK & Ireland to check your staff are checking young people for ID. We can set up carefully managed mystery shopping or test purchasing services to sit alongside your staff training, due diligence systems and in-store signage.

Mystery shopping complements your due diligence

It works by the mystery shopper entering your site, purchasing an age-restricted item (e.g. alcohol or cigarettes) and recording key information about the transaction including whether ID was requested, a description of the server, a till receipt (if provided), plus some other key facts, including whether or not your signage was correctly displayed.

The mystery shoppers are all young-looking, 18 or 19 year old people and should be asked to provide ID to complete the transaction - particularly if you operate a Think 21 / Think 25 policy.

  • If the mystery shopper is required to provide official ID to complete the transaction then the site PASSES
  • If they purchase the items without showing ID then the site FAILS. Only passports, photocard driving licences or PASS accredited IDs are accepted
  • Within 24 hours, the mystery shopper completes a report for the visit. Within 72 hours, this report is sent by email and/or SMS to the site owner.

We fully recommend using test purchasing

Using an independent test purchase service demonstrates to the local authority that you are taking the issue seriously. A recent trading standards report cited internal test purchasing in their best practice guidelines for selling alcohol. The due diligence is invaluable if you ever receive a visit from your local officer.

Furthermore, this allows you to measure your own performance on the issue and benchmark this against others in your industry (we obviously protect company identities in the benchmarking).

Most importantly, using our service improves your performance.

Individual company performance improves due to a number of factors - awareness among staff that they are being randomly tested, increased focus from management on underage legislation, and also specific actions suggested from our analysis.

Our unique community of visitors means we can visit any store in the UK & Ireland, often within 24 hours, and unlike other companies, we complete all visits to the required spec and always within deadline.

For more information about setting up mystery shopping at your store, please contact us.

Interested in becoming a mystery shopper

If you're aged 18 or 19 and are interested in becoming a mystery shopper you can sign up using our mobile apps: